ATOPIC DERMATITIS

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Last Updated : 1/5/2011
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Ira Shah
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What is the treatment of atopic dermatitis?
Treatment of atopic dermatitis consists of avoiding precipitating factors, hydrating the skin, preventing scratching of skin and drugs that control the atopic dermatitis.

Avoid excessive use of soap. Use cotton clothing. Avoid perfumes and scented soaps, washing powders and fabric softeners. Choose a soap that has an oil or fat base. Avoid extremes of temperature and excessive sweating. Use emollients and moisturisers.

Treatment of atopic dermatitis consists of drugs that control itching and steroid creams. Antihistamines are commonly used if the itching is severe and even at night. Steroid creams should be used sparingly and in low concentration.

In case of severe atopic dermatitis where steroids are not working, other drugs that are used are Pimecrolimus, coal tar (Tar shampoo can be used for scalp involvement), cyclosporine and steroid syrups or tablets (used only for short term and for acute flare). Children who receive pimecrolimus are predisposed to sun induced damage so adequate sun protection and sunscreen should be used. Phototherapy with ultraviolet B (UVB) can be used for severe resistant cases.

Can atopic dermatitis be prevented?
Breast feeding for the 1st 6 months or a hypoallergenic hydrolysed formula used may be helpful in reducing the incidence of the disease. Probiotics may also be beneficial. Identification and elimination of any precipitating factor may also help in preventing relapses.

What is the course of the disease?
This is a chronic disease with recurrent relapses. About half of all patients affected during infancy have spontaneous resolution by the age of 5 yrs especially if the disease is mild.



Contributor Information and Disclosures Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai, India


First Created : 1/17/2001
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